The UK Royal Navy's Type 23 frigates could be equipped with "ship-killing" SEA SERPENT missiles produced by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) and Thales.
"IAI & Thales UK have joined forces to offer SEA SERPENT the most advanced ship-launched anti-surface missile in the free world to equip the Royal Navy Type 23 frigates with an anti-ship and anti-surface missile that can strike targets at ranges significantly in excess of 200km," IAI announced Tuesday.
The SEA SERPENT delivers an agile, highly penetrative, combined anti-ship and land attack capability at ranges significantly in excess of 200 km. It deploys an RF seeker head and a sophisticated data analysis and weapon control system to provide precise target detection, discrimination and classification. It overcomes both kinetic counter-fire and electronic countermeasures of increasing sophistication, so that the missile can locate and attack its target in littoral, open-ocean and overland environments. It is especially designed to prevail in contested, congested and confusing situations characterised by large numbers of decoys, disrupted reality and heavy electronic interference, as well as clutter from land and false returns. In fast-moving situations, SEA SERPENT incorporates mid-course updates from real-time ISTAR feeds and the ability to re-task in flight, especially in cooperative engagements and distributed sensor-and-shooter networks.
SEA SERPENT also offers significant Military Off-the-Shelf Solution (MOTS) advantages in terms of cost, time-to-procurement, entry into operational service and risk reduction. Benchmarked against the need to defeat the most sophisticated platforms and technologies, SEA SERPENT has been developed in parallel with similar missile systems in service with the Israeli Navy and was selected to provide powerful strike capabilities for Finland’s SSM2020 programme. These systems are based on the heritage of the GABRIEL family of surface-to-surface missiles.